Over the years the holidays have been constantly commercialized. Stores are stocked full of potential gifts, cards, and gift wrapping essentials more and more each year. Commercials start airing on television sometimes before Halloween passes, and as soon as Halloween is over the commercials become even more inescapable. Kids are more concerned with sitting on Santa’s lap and telling them their wish list rather than being educated by parents on why Christmas even exists. Parents that struggle financially have a hard time keeping up with the latest presents each year, making it difficult to please their child. Materialism has infected our society as a whole, and it is only getting worse.

Christmas morning when family arrives, the majority of individuals are more concerned with what is hiding behind the wrapping paper in the gift they are carrying than actually seeing and spending time with them before or after it is opened. Parents have helped encourage this way of thinking through the lack of discussion about what the holidays actually mean aside from the gift of giving. Although parents are one factor that enhances this thought process, media is even more influential.

Kids all around see television commercials, billboards, posters, store displays, etc and they automatically associate the holidays with the acts of giving and getting. Take Black Friday for example, people struggle and push through hundreds of people in a crowd and stand for two hours in a line just to ensure that they get the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Sure a gift is nice and very kind, but it has slowly become the meaning of holidays in many people’s eyes.

Materialism has infected the eyes of many on what the true meaning of the holidays are, and that needs to stop. Take a look around you, under your tree, and think about what you are more excited about. Is it the gifts? The family you are surrounded by? Think about it, life is short and anyone can be gone in an instant. Society needs to start putting more attention towards their loved ones instead of the gifts that they hold when they walk through the door. It is time to take a step back and realize things do not carry any meaning, family does. So put down the gift and give your loved one a hug before you unwrap it, talk to them about what has been going on in your life, and just soak of the warmth of their company.